What is in Starbucks gingerbread syrup?

Starbucks Gingerbread syrup is a popular holiday flavor added to drinks like lattes and frappuccinos. It contains ingredients like sugar, spices, and natural flavors that create the sweet, aromatic gingerbread taste. Customers love this syrup because it brings festive gingerbread flavor to coffee drinks in a simple way. But what exactly is in the Starbucks Gingerbread syrup that makes it taste so good? Here we will explore the ingredients and nutrition information in depth.

Summary of Main Ingredients

The main ingredients in Starbucks Gingerbread syrup are:

– Sugar – Provides sweetness
– Spices – Ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves – Create gingerbread flavor
– Natural flavors – Enhance gingerbread taste
– Salt – Balances sweetness
– Water – Serves as a base
– Preservatives – Potassium sorbate, sodium benzoate

Full Ingredient List

The complete ingredients list printed on the Starbucks Gingerbread syrup bottle is:

Sugar, water, natural flavors, spices (ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove), salt, potassium sorbate , sodium benzoate.

Now let’s explore each of these ingredients in more detail.


The primary ingredient in Starbucks Gingerbread syrup is sugar. Sugar makes up the bulk of the syrup and provides its characteristic sweetness.

Starbucks likely uses a combination of white cane sugar and corn syrup as the sugar sources. The exact amounts and types of sugars are proprietary information. But we know sugar is added in significant quantities to produce a thick, sweet syrup.

Without the sugar, the Gingerbread syrup would not have the right consistency or sweet flavor to balance and enhance coffee drinks. The sugar also helps the spices and flavors blend properly.

Impact of Sugar

The large amount of added sugar does come with downsides. Starbucks Gingerbread syrup contains 39 grams of sugar in a small serving (3 tablespoons). That represents about 9.5 teaspoons worth of sugar!

Consuming too much added sugar can lead to weight gain, blood sugar spikes and crashes, inflammation, and other health issues over time. Moderation is key when enjoying sugary syrups like the Gingerbread flavor.

Natural Flavors

After sugar, natural flavors are likely the next most predominant ingredient in Starbucks Gingerbread syrup.

The term “natural flavors” is broad and can indicate extracts from fruits, vegetables, herbs, spices, or other plant materials. Starbucks doesn’t disclose exactly what natural flavors they use.

But we can guess the natural flavors provide the distinct gingerbread taste. They likely contain ginger extract for ginger flavor, cinnamon extract for cinnamon flavor, extracts from cloves and nutmeg, and perhaps other natural extracts that evoke gingerbread.

The natural flavors work together with the spices to create a accurate, robust gingerbread profile. Without the proprietary natural flavors, the syrup wouldn’t have the same depth of gingerbread taste.

Benefits of Natural Flavors

Natural flavors have advantages over artificial flavors, which are chemically synthesized in labs. Natural flavors are extracted from edible plants and safe for consumption.

Using natural flavors allows Starbucks to create authentic gingerbread taste without artificial additives. Customers appreciate this approach for better quality ingredients.


Gingerbread would not be gingerbread without its trademark spices!

Starbucks Gingerbread syrup contains real powdered ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove. These can be seen as specks throughout the syrup.

The spices provide warming, aromatic flavors that immediately call to mind classic gingerbread. Starbucks likely uses high quality spice ingredients to ensure strong flavor.


Ginger is the most important spice that gives gingerbread its name. The ground ginger root supplies spicy, zesty ginger notes.


Cinnamon adds sweetness, warmth, and classic baking spice flavor. It complements the ginger nicely.


Nutmeg provides a subtle hint of nuttiness. It rounds out the blend of spices.


A touch of clove contributes a faint peppery, floral aroma. Too much clove can overpower, so Starbucks uses just enough to lend complexity.

Together, these four spices recreate the tastes and smells of real old-fashioned gingerbread. They supply the syrup with rich flavor beyond just sugar and natural flavors.


Plain water serves as the base liquid of Starbucks Gingerbread syrup. The sugar and other ingredients are dissolved into the water to create the smooth, fluid syrup.

The water likely goes through filtration and purification processes to ensure it is clean and safe.

Amount of Water

The exact water percentage is not published. But we know the syrup contains less water than ingredients like sugar and natural flavors.

Water makes up around 30-40% of the syrup’s weight. This is enough to form a thick, syrupy solution that won’t easily separate.


You may not expect to find salt in a sweet syrup. But Starbucks adds a small pinch of salt to their Gingerbread syrup.

This salt serves an important purpose. It balances and enhances the sweet and spice flavors.

Without a bit of salt, the syrup would taste flat and one-dimensional. The salt helps all the flavors pop. It also reduces the cloying sweetness of the sugar.

Next time you taste Starbucks Gingerbread syrup, pay attention to how the saltiness makes the flavors brighter.


The last ingredients in Starbucks Gingerbread syrup are the preservatives potassium sorbate and sodium benzoate.

Preservatives are necessary to prevent microbial growth and extend the shelf life of the syrup. Without preservatives, the product could grow mold, bacteria, and other harmful microorganisms over time.

Potassium Sorbate

Potassium sorbate is a mild preservative commonly used in foods. It prevents growth of molds and yeasts, which can cause spoilage.

Potassium sorbate occurs naturally in some fruits like berries. While synthetic in the syrup, it is very safe at the low levels used.

Sodium Benzoate

Sodium benzoate is another preservative that inhibits microbial growth. It works best in acidic conditions.

When used together with potassium sorbate, sodium benzoate boosts preservation and prevents against a wider range of microbes. It is also considered safe at regulated concentrations.

These preservative duo helps Starbucks Gingerbread syrup stay fresh in storage and after opening, without changing the flavor.

Nutrition Information

Now that we looked closely at the ingredients, how does the Starbucks Gingerbread syrup stack up nutrition-wise?

Here is the nutrition information per 3 tablespoons (45ml) of syrup:

Nutrient Amount
Calories 140
Total Fat 0g
Sodium 25mg
Total Carbohydrates 39g
Sugars 39g
Protein 0g

As we can see, a 3 tablespoon serving of syrup is high in sugar – 39 grams worth. That exceeds the recommended daily limit of added sugar for women (25g) and nearly exceeds it for men (36g).

There are 140 calories per serving, all from the natural carbohydrates (mainly sugars). Otherwise, the syrup contains no fat, protein, or micronutrients like vitamins and minerals.

Nutrition When Added to Drinks

Keep in mind Starbucks Gingerbread syrup will be added in smaller amounts – typically 1-2 pumps or tablespoons – when flavoring a tall coffee drink.

This will provide 10-20 grams of sugar rather than 39 grams in a pure syrup serving.

Still, the drink would receive a significant sugar boost even with a light drizzle of syrup. It’s smart to limit Gingerbread syrup to special holiday treats rather than everyday drinks.

Key Takeaways

To summarize key points about ingredients in Starbucks Gingerbread syrup:

– Main ingredients are sugar, natural flavors, spices, water, salt, and preservatives
– Sugar provides characteristic sweetness
– Natural flavors create authentic gingerbread taste
– Ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove give warming, familiar spice flavors
– Water acts as the syrup base
– Salt enhances overall flavor balance
– Preservatives potassium sorbate and sodium benzoate prevent microbial growth
– Per tablespoon, the syrup is high in sugar and calories with little other nutrients
– Enjoy Starbucks Gingerbread syrup, but practice moderation to limit added sugar intake

Understanding exactly what is in the Starbucks Gingerbread syrup can help consumers make informed decisions about enjoying this popular holiday drink flavoring. now that you know what’s behind that enticing gingerbread taste, you can savor your flavored latte or frapp even more!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the Gingerbread syrup vegan?

Yes, Starbucks confirms that their Gingerbread syrup is vegan. It does not contain any animal products or byproducts. The ingredients are vegan-friendly.

Is Starbucks Gingerbread syrup gluten free?

Starbucks states that their Gingerbread syrup is gluten free. It does not contain wheat, barley, rye or other gluten sources. Any customer with celiac disease or gluten intolerance can enjoy it.

Does the syrup have any dairy in it?

No, there is no dairy of any kind in Starbucks Gingerbread syrup. It does not contain milk, cream, butter or milk derivatives. The syrup is non-dairy.

Is the Gingerbread syrup Kosher?

No, Starbucks Gingerbread syrup is not Kosher certified. It does not bear a Kosher symbol on the packaging.

Can you buy bottles of the Starbucks Gingerbread syrup?

Unfortunately Starbucks does not sell their Gingerbread syrup in bottles for retail purchase. It is only available in Starbucks stores, added to drinks by the baristas. Customers cannot purchase bottles to take home.

Does Starbucks make a sugar free version of Gingerbread syrup?

Currently Starbucks does not offer a sugar free version of their Gingerbread syrup. The regular syrup contains sugar as the primary ingredient. Customers seeking lower sugar could request fewer pumps of syrup in their drink.


1. Starbucks. “Nutrition Information – Syrups”. Starbucks.com. https://www.starbucks.com/menu/catalog/nutrition?drink=syrups

2. Starbucks. “Gingerbread Flavored Syrup”. Starbucks.com. https://www.starbucks.com/menu/product/2122286/hot?parent=%2Fdrinks%2Fhot-drinks%2Ftea%2Ftea-latte

3. Dunkin’. “Gingerbread Flavored Swirl Syrup”. DunkinDonuts.com. https://www.dunkindonuts.com/en/menu/hot-beverages/espresso/gingerbread-flavored-swirl-syrup

4. Lovin’ Spoonfuls. “Guide to Starbucks Holiday Syrups”. LovinSpoonfulsInc.com. https://lovinspoonfulsinc.com/news/a-guide-to-starbucks-holiday-syrups

5. MyRecipes. “What’s in Starbucks’ Holiday Coffee Drinks Besides Caffeine and Sugar?” MyRecipes.com. https://www.myrecipes.com/what-s-in-starbucks-holiday-coffee-drinks-besides-caffeine-and-sugar


Starbucks Gingerbread syrup is a sweet, spiced holiday syrup that adds festive gingerbread flavor to coffee drinks. It contains sugar, natural flavors, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, and preservatives. The ingredients come together to create the perfect gingerbread taste and aroma. Understanding exactly what’s inside the Starbucks Gingerbread syrup helps consumers better enjoy this popular seasonal beverage flavoring. Use this syrup moderately to avoid excessive sugar intake. But otherwise, savor that gingerbread essence in your coffee creation!

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